Mini biodiesel reactor takes to the road (Day 12)

UTM Mini Biodiesel Reactor

UTM Mini Biodiesel Reactor

Do you find it hard to explain what you do and why it’s important? It’s a common problem and even the best communicators struggle to convey the science, complexity, scale and even the products we make – industrial or for consumers.

However, it was great to see a project this week in Malaysia where students from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia took a mobile mini biodiesel reactor into the streets to help the general public’s understanding of biodiesel. It’s the type of initiative that fits perfectly with the ChemEng365 campaign.

The project has an international dimension too. They’ve already visited eight countries including China, Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam, to share their invention.

The mini reactor took two months to make and has the capacity to generate 15 litres of biodiesel alternative fuel, known as B5, from used cooking oil in two hours.

And it is educational. It’s been developed by 19 first and second year chemical engineering students as part of the “Go Green, Go Global” programme, which promotes biodiesel usage, an initiative started by UTM in 2009.

The prototype has potential to be developed for use in small and medium sized businesses, but its immediate use includes demonstrations in schools and for the public.

Congratulations to UTM and its chemical engineering, petroleum engineering and renewable energy faculties.